“I have cried to Thee, O Lord, hear me: hearken to my voice, when I cry to Thee. Let my prayer be directed as incense in Thy sight; the lifting up of my hands, as evening sacrifice.” Psalm 140:1-2
We see incense used in the Catholic Mass and ceremonies regularly, but did you know you could use it for prayer at home? Fisheaters.com offers a few good tips as well as insight into how it’s traditionally used:
This is resin incense, which is what’s typically used in family worship.
Incense Use in the Home
Though stick and cone incense may be used during prayer and lectio divina, the classic way of using incense at your family altar is with resin incense (sold by the Holy Land Gift Shop), which comes in large “grains,” for use in a charcoal incense burner.
Simply place a piece of charcoal in the burner, light it until it is glowing (it might spark at first), and place about 1/2 teaspoon or so of incense on top (not so much that the charcoal will be smothered). For lighting charcoal inside the burner, it’s good to have a supply of bamboo sticks that are used in making kabobs.
Charcoal can smolder for a very long time, so don’t leave it unattended — and remember that the incense holder will be hot, so be sure to keep little hands (and your own) away.
If you don’t have or don’t want to buy a regular incense burner, you can use any fire-proof container such as a bowl or even a seashell. If it sits directly on your table, place a little sand or salt for insulation at the bottom of your container.
More resin incense. Different types are used for different occasions.
Use In Scripture
The “sweet savour” of incense was used in Old Testament liturgy as far back as the time of Moses as an offering to God:
And the Lord said to Moses: Take unto thee spices, stacte, and onycha, galbanum of sweet savour, and the clearest frankincense, all shall be of equal weight. And thou shalt make incense compounded by the work of the perfumer, well tempered together, and pure, and most worthy of sanctification. And when thou hast beaten all into very small powder, thou shalt set of it before the tabernacle of the testimony, in the place where I will appear to thee. Most holy shall this incense be unto you. You shall not make such a composition for your own uses, because it is holy to the Lord. -Exodus 30:34-37
… and its continued use was predicted, along with the Eucharistic offering, by Malachias:
For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts. -Malachias 1:11
Small, traditional incense burners.
And entering into the house, they found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored him: and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11
And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, The place of Calvary. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; but he took it not. Mark 15:22-23
And Nicodemus also came, (he who at the first came to Jesus by night,) bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. They took therefore the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. John 19:39-40
Angels Use of Incense
And another angel came and stood before the altar, having a golden censer: and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar which is before the throne of God. And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel. Apocalypse 8:3-4
The Holy Land Gift Shop sells a wide variety of fragrant incense
Uses in Worship
Incense is also used during the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, during processions, funeral rites and to bless things like relics, bells or the Gospel.
Other uses of incense are the 5 grains of incense, symbolizing the 5 wounds of Christ, inserted into the Paschal candle on Easter, and the incense burned on the altar stone of a new Altar during its consecration. Incense is also placed inside the cavity (the “sepulchre”) of the Altar, along with a relic, to symbolize the prayers of the saint to whom the relic belongs.
Also, frankincense is blessed on the Feast of the Epiphany. The faithful may take some of this home with them for use at their family altars.
Find resin incense and small incense burners at the Holy Land Gift Shop.
Check out the original post. https://www.fisheaters.com/incense.html.